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History of Coal Mining In the UK

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by

Seoan Webb

on 28 January 2014

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Transcript of History of Coal Mining In the UK

History of Coal Mining In the UK
Alarmingly, many of the workers in mines were children, many of which worked from as young as five (until a 1842 law prohibiting children younger tyhan 10 working in mines) and often started work before sunrise. Up until 1842, many families all worked together in the mines. The jobs that they did including being trappers (opening and closing the wooden doors that allowed fresh air in; this was extremely dangerous since it required total concentration),hurriers and thrusters (pulling and pushing the coal respectively) and getters (picking coal off the coal-face) Adults also worked in the mines; women were usually hurriers and/or thrusters and men were usually getters.
Conditions in coal mines in the Victorian times were overall very poor. There were two predominent forms of mine; drift mines (built into the hillside, meaning workers had to follow the seam of coal
The early history of coal mining is quite vague. Coal is a natural resource made out of dead plants that decomposed into coal 345-280 million years ago. Coal was mentioned as a power source at least as early as 200 BC in China, and at least as early as the 13th century in England a charter pursuant to the importance of coal as a power source was signed.

Coal, however,came into its own in Britain as a power source at the start of the Industrial Revolution. Up until about the 18th century people mainly used charcoal as a power source. During the Industrial Revolution more and more coal was used to power new inventions such as the steam engine invented by Watt.
Early Victorian coal mines
Who worked in the coal mines?
What were the conditions like?
Above: Watt's steam engine (from Wikimedia Commons)
Right: A trapper
(From: historyhome.co.uk)
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